my heathenry

Devotional Artwork: Watercolor

Loki, Norse God of Chaos

I was in need of distraction from a depressive/anxiety spell and focusing on Loki helped tremendously. I put a lot into this painting of Him and I smile every time I look at it. Thanks for always being there for me, Loki. You are my fortress and I am grateful to have you in my life.

Small Devotional Acts

 Freya / Freyja

Norse goddess of love and beauty, sex, magic, passion and fertility, war, and death. Member of the Vanir, but was sent to live with the Aesir as truce.

❧ A goddess of love is very much a goddess a self-love. Take care of yourself; drink water, cook a healthy meal, take a longer shower, do a face mask, straighten your back and take a deep breath. Treat yo self.

❧ Dedicate the act of sex or masturbation to her.

❧ Make small donations to your local planned parenthood, NICU, fertility clinic, or any other agencies that are geared towards family planning and/or children, especially those in the wee beginnings of life.

❧ Read the news, see what’s going on in our world today. (Death and war have been prominent topics).

❧ Donate time or money to a local vet or shelter. If time, spend with cats in particular. 

❧ Leave suitable food out for any strays, once again gearing this towards cats. 

❧Do something you love.

❧ Get some fresh air, some sun. 

❧ Take time to dress up and/or add in daily accessories; necklaces, rings, bracelets, hair clips, etc. Choosing a day to dress to the nines for “no reason” can also be done in her honor.  

❧ Carpool! In multiple myths she allows others to use her cloak of falcon feathers in order to travel quickly between the realms, which is where this one comes from. 

❧ Put offerings to her in your jewelry box, makeup-bag, etc

❧ Practice runes or other forms of divination in her honor, set out crystals if you’re able. If you practice witchcraft, dedicate a spell or small ritual to her. 

❧ Choose room spray or perfume/cologne to wear with her in mind - scents that are light, floral, and fresh are the major ones I can think of. 

❧ If anyone you know has passed during the line of duty, share their stories with her. If you don’t know anyone personally, offer support to those that have gone through such a loss. 

❧ Light a candle for her, jasmine and rose are the first to come to mind, but any scent you’d like to share with her will do the trick!


Feel free to add your own! This post is subject to updates, but anything added from another source will get it’s due credit. You can request an additional Norse deity / figure here. 

5

I recently taught an introductory rune casting class and thought I’d share the rune study worksheets that were provided. They’re excerpted from a very rough draft of a book I’m working on. Feel free to take them for personal use. I have pages for a lot of other spreads, but we just reviewed the one to break the ice :D. 

Runes 101
RUNIC MAGIC IN THE SIGRDRÍFUMÁL
Bindrune Workshop(s)

So I had written this post, promising something similar on Nordic types of magic. I’ll say this to begin with: even though it is my branch, it’s not something I’ve approached academically very often, so purists might catch me saying something not entirely correct, but whatevs.

The standard disclaimer still applies–this is my impression of these terms based on what I’ve read and seen, and aren’t meant to be concrete definitions.

  • SEIÐR (Proto-Indo-European *h₂seut-, “to move about, roil, seethe” +  Proto-Germanic *seuþaną, “to seethe, boil”) is considered a Vanir magic, having been taught to the Æsir by the goddess Freyja. It is worked the majority of the time after utiseta, and involves communication with wights or other spirits. Seiðr is usually worked in an altered state of consciousness (ASC) and primarily utilized for divination, illusory magic, astral travel, or channelling. Practitioners may be called seið-worker, seiðkona (seiðwoman) or seiðmaðr (seiðman).
  • UTISETA (Old Norse, “sitting out”) is a preparatory practice for seið-workers. Traditionally, the practitioner goes out into a place of the dead and seats themselves upon a burial mound, with the object of task being to come into communion with the spirit that will be worked with during the practice of seiðr.
  • SPÁ (unknown origin, possibly Proto-Indo-European *spey-, “stick, staff”) is the power of prophesy or foresight, by ‘the determination of ørlög’. Ørlög is 'the law of fate’ as determined by the Norns. Practitioners may be called spá-worker, spákona, or spámaðr. The term 'spáwife’ is also commonly used. One who is highly skilled with spá or born with the innate ability may be called a völva, which is a traditionally feminine title, since such magics were seen as being in female domain.
  • VARÐLÖKKUR (Old Norse “warding songs”) are songs to be sung in preparation for seiðr or spá which are intended to help bring one into ASC. Unlike galdr, varðlökkur can be very melodic, and are today widely inspired by joik and kulning, two traditional singing styles amongst certain Nordic peoples.
  • GALDR (Proto-Indo-European *ghAl-, “to shout, to sing” + Proto-Germanic *galdrą, “incantation”) is viewed as a more Æsir brand of magic due to its seeming rigidity, but is similar to varðlökkur in the intent to induce ASC. Galdr is often called “runic chanting” and refers to the repetition of the sounds of the runes, i.e., if one meditates upon the rune fehu, then one may continuously gald the sound fe. Practitioners may be called galdra-worker, galdrakona, or galdramaðr.

I wholeheartedly believe that protest can be a devotional act.

Educating yourself on politics? Reading up on your enemies and their philosophy? Figuring out who to avoid and who to ally with in your area? Planning direct action? Old One-Eye loves that shit. He’ll keep a watchful eye on you - on the trans folks, the disabled folks, those who defy binaries and lash out at systematic, crushing oppression.

Standing with your fellow outcasts? Protecting those who have been called monsters by society? Ripping off the veil of misinformation and lies to reveal truth to the world, no matter how painful? Loki stands with you. He’s the mother of monsters, after all. May his silver tongue speak along with yours to inspire your allies and demoralize your enemies.

Fighting tooth and nail for justice? Recognizing when laws can be and need to be subverted in order to do the most good? Fiercely protecting your own? Tyr has your back, and you have his sword. Stand up, be brave, be loud, and remember that fighting oppression does not make you like your oppressors.

Honoring our fallen? Holding vigils and moments of silence for those we have lost? Women of all walks of life, standing in solidarity, holding hands; the femmes and the butches and those who have never fit any prescribed label; women of color and trans women especially - Freyja watches over all of us, all of you, with her fierce and sacred femininity, her warrior’s spirit and cunning crafts, and she stands with the fallen, bathing them in her golden light.

5

The altar pics no one asked for. Set up my brand new altar last night and I am pretty pleased with it! The strawberry moon was so energetic it made me want to do everything. Made moon water as you can see it in a mason jar on my windowsill. 

Eugene my alligator taxidermy and spirit friend finally has a place on my altar holding my sage stick and helping with my craft. Always watching what I am doing. 

Finally made my devotional candles last night. Might make new ones later but until I can get icons this will do. I wanna eventually frame and hang my painting of the Bifrost but for now, it is a lovely backdrop to my devotional candles. 

So. I had a thought, and I ran with it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I thought: there needs to be a line of apparel for Heathens / Lokeans / Rokkatru / NT Pagans etc., that is safe from bigotry. Something that bites back against all of that hateful “You Are The Wrong Kind Of Heathen If ____” bullshit.

So, I decided I should start designing.

And I thought to begin by reclaiming ‘ergi,’ as a nonbinary Lokean, it seemed as good a place as any to start.

I also thought - won’t those folkish bastards just shit themselves over this - an enby reminding them that All Ur Gods R Queer  (◡‿◡✿)

[If this offends any LGBTQIA+ pagans out there, however, please let me know and I will do my best to remedy that or remove this design all together.]

I have plans in the works for other designs that call out racism, sexism, and all the other nasty -isms that Heathenry is infected with, and other designs that focus on positivity. More on that as I complete each one.

These will be available through CafePress, most likely, unless I can get a good enough deal to order a bunch and offer them through my Etsy shop. Please let me know if you are interested in getting a shirt & I will send you a link :)

Thoughts, anyone?

why, when we’re talking about modern interpretations of gods, is óðinn never mentioned as a senior or mental health care practitioner.

for huginn i fear, lest he come not home; but for muninn my care is more.

óðinn working with alzheimer’s patients. amnesic patients. patients suffering from dementia. schizophrenic patients. patients who can’t remember; patients who can’t think. those with adhd. huntington’s. major depression. parkinson’s. patients who are losing memory, losing thoughts, losing control (óðinn is a god of frenzy, but there’s a time and a place).

a sympathetic óðinn who mediates between these patients and their families. who listens to the stories they can remember to tell, who tells them his own. óðinn who understands wisdom and experience, who understands how hard it is to lose a grasp on these. óðinn whose load to bear has been heavy across many, many long years, knowing the stress and the fear that these patients have invading their lives, against their will. oðinn who, as the berserkr god of the wild hunt, knows what it’s like to not recognize the faces around you, or to know them but be unable to connect them to anything.

óðinn, with calm grey eyes, watching the families make the hard decisions, guiding them to make the right choice. óðinn, reading at the bedside of a sleeping woman on life support. oðinn, seeing tears and hearing shaking voices, offering comfort where it’s sorely needed. óðinn, weathering the sometimes-violent outbursts of his patients, knowing they aren’t meant.

óðinn releasing a patient who’s bettering, praising them for fighting and winning their battle, for the valor they’ve shown, for all that they have done to overcome, as he still works to overcome.

óðinn holding the hand of a terminal or aged patient as they bravely cross the border from this realm to the next—óðinn rewarding their struggles and strifes in valhalla.

Race Matters, But Not The Way You Think

Some time ago, I made a post stating that I feel that modern Heathenry is largely racists who don’t know they’re racists arguing with racists who know they’re racist about who is more racist. Now, I think I will expound further on this.

From what I can gather, there are two main groupings of Norse/Germanic Heathens/Asatruar:

The first would be Universalists, or what I tend to call the average-liberal-heathen/pagan, who generally believe that Heathenry is equally for anyone who wants to be heathen, regardless of race, nationality, or practice. They usually have a very leftist political affiliations and harp strongly on equality and being inclusive.

The second would be Folkish (or some flavor of that), or what the first group like to call racist/nazi heathens. Generally, they seem to believe that to be able to be included in Heathenry or be able to be a “real heathen” one must be…..some kind of white person, preferably of Norse/German/“viking” descent.

I believe both groups are wrong about why race is or isn’t important.

To begin, I don’t think anyone will argue that culture doesn’t exist, or that cultures aren’t different (cultural diversity and all that). And what is religion/spirituality if not a part of and a reflection of the culture from which it emerged? And can we not all agree that in order to fully understand a religion, we must also take into consideration the cultural context?

Culture itself is formed over time by groups of people through shared experiences because of events through history and geographic location. Is it unbelievable then, that people who perhaps had a family who has lived in that culture for generations would not have a deeper understanding of the culture’s spiritual beliefs? And is it unbelievable that those groups of people would not have evolved over time to favor certain traits that would allow them to survive better in that context?

This then, is the genetic component. The sensitive topic that Universalist Heathens don’t want to touch. If there is a person whose ancestors lived in a situation where, say, independence was a more favorable trait for survival, then the children of those who survived would have a higher percent chance to be a more independent person (not to mention if they grew up in that culture, that trait would be praised, developed, and encouraged).

But, this is not 100%. It is not foolproof. Humans are individuals, who could be born and develop with a number of combination of traits, not to mention anomalies and mutations. Therefore, one could not say that ALL people of Northern European descent are fit to be or even inclined to be Heathens. Nor could one say that ALL people who are not never have it in their nature.

I am ethnically Chinese, almost 100%, but I can not relate to Chinese culture or the way most of them think on a fundamental level. This is not only because I was born in the U.S., a western country. My father who was born in Taiwan also has many stereotypically “western” traits in his way of thinking (among other things) as well, and we are considered “weird” by other East Asian people. I suffered ostracization and bullying from other Chinese or East Asian children growing up because I was different. Imagine how my life might have been changed, or limited, had I been born in China, surrounded by only Chinese people, and you might start to see a concrete example of how ancestry does have an impact on the average person of a certain race.

However, because I grew up largely around Chinese people, there are also things I understand and know intimately about Chinese culture that I am often surprised to find is not common knowledge to the average white American. And the more I visited Norway(the place I feel most at home), the more I realized being American and growing up in American culture, even if I disagree or feel uncomfortable with a lot of it, has shaped me differently than if I had grown up in Norway. I still responded to my surrounding influences, either for or against.

Therefore, I am compelled to take that into consideration in my practice, in my Heathenry. I have to acknowledge that I am not Norwegian, or Icelandic, and that I am not even an American of European descent (whose families still have traditions that echo those of the old world, however faint they may be). That is my starting point. A different context of understanding the world.

The past shapes the present and the future, whether it’s nature or nurture, and we are so afraid to admit that to ourselves, often even on a small scale. We wish to distance ourselves from our own past foolishness, or our parents’ or ancestors’ mistakes, so much so that we want to believe that our past has nothing to do with who we are now, but the effect is there whether we acknowledge it or not.

I conclude that an average person of Norse or Germanic descent would be a better Heathen than an average person who is of a different descent. However, we are not average people. We are individuals, and any one individual may find something in particular stirs their heart for one reason or another. I only ask that we all examine where we came from, and where our paths of choice come from with honesty, respect, and a desire to Know.

I’m not into ancestors veneration (my bad, I now), but since last August or so I’ve been thinking about preparing a shrine for someone I love deeply - not an ancestor or a member of my family, but a musician.
The problem is that I don’t know how to deal with this kind of stuff. I don’t know what to offer, don’t know how to honour a person properly. He had… an interesting life, if I can say so, and he was addicted to drugs/alcohol, but he was an amazing musician and I’m here, stupidly ranting about my incapacity of honour him in the right way, with respect.

Fuck you, man.

6.15.17

Hello hello!

I’m going to start working on small acts of devotion posts today. The first will be of Freya as it was requested, and the second will be of Hel since I’ve been working with her more so recently. From there, it’ll be whichever deity etc that catches my eye or whoever you guys request! All requests will will take priority, so if there’s someone you’d like to see mentioned sooner send me an ask and I’ll queue them.

These are being done for the Norse pantheon only, if you’d like to see similar posts for the Greek/Roman deities check out @heatherwitch‘s blog and the tag they have for them!!